Jumeirah Village Mall: This small Beach Road mall is home to fashion boutiques including Ayesha Depala and S*uce, and it’s also a great place to unwind, thanks to winning massage spot SensAsia Urban Spa, pro salon Sisters Beauty Lounge and excellent medical centre Gulf American Clinic. Food-wise, there’s Thai Time for stir-fry, Shakespeare & Co for al-fresco people watching and Sugar Daddy’s for cupcake hits.
Jumeirah Beach Road (04 349 8850).
Lamcy Plaza: More than 20 years old, Lamcy Plaza is like a giant department store: the shops run into one another. Our favourite outlet is Daiso, a slightly surreal Japanese bargain shop where you can buy everything from gorgeous ceramic tea sets and rice bowls to garden gnomes. Also of note is the cinema at Lamcy, which plays only Hindi flicks, meaning lots of variety for Indian expats.
Oud Metha, www.lamcyplaza.com.
Oasis Centre: This Sheikh Zayed Road mall opened in 1999, but was completely destroyed in a fire early on a Friday morning in 2005 (the alarm system had been disconnected due to renovation work, which was actually what caused the fire). But four years later, in 2009, the rebuilt mall reopened, offering punters a Q Home Decor (great for quirky crockery and scented candles), a handy Carrefour Express, a women’s only Fitness First, a Splash fashion store and multi-brand beauty spot BeautyBay. It’s not big enough to absorb a whole day, but it’s great for a retail therapy break from SZR traffic.
Sheikh Zayed Road, near interchange two, www.oasiscentremall.com.
Times Square Centre: We wouldn’t go out of our way to visit this tiny mall, but Yellow Hat is a great place to pimp your car – it offers everything from stereos and seat covers to air fresheners and replacement bulbs. Meanwhile, Chillout (right), Dubai’s only ‘ice lounge’, is a surreal place to enjoy a mocktail. The mall also offers regular market-style events, giving stallholders an opportunity to sell unusual arts and crafts.
Sheikh Zayed Road, Al Quoz, www.timessquarecenter.ae.
Battle of the malls in Dubai click here to view.